Dear Carolina Community,
On Monday we welcome the day we’ve been planning for – the first day of fall classes. The Roadmap was announced on May 21 along with the decision to begin fall classes earlier than normal on August 10. Every day since that decision was announced, the Carolina community has worked together to put a plan in place to implement the goals of the Roadmap, help keep one another safe and implement plans steps to help reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
These efforts are evident all across campus. One change you will notice is the Old Well is not available for our traditional “first sip” on the first day of classes to prevent transmission. While you will notice this and other ways the University is adjusting the semester to make it different than others, most importantly we must all do our part every day to support a safe and healthy environment and allow our University to continue its mission.
Everyone – students, faculty, staff and visitors – must remember to check their symptoms each time they come to campus. If you answer “yes” to any symptom, do not attend class, work or any campus activities and contact your medical provider or, if you are a student, contact Campus Health.
On campus, in the community and at transit stops you will notice signs reminding you of the 3 W’s – Wear a Mask, Wait 6 feet apart, Wash your hands often. Abiding by these University Guidelines is a condition for being on campus. Students must agree to the COVID-19 Student Acknowledgement in order to participate in classes on Monday, and the guidelines are a condition of employment for faculty and staff.
All students on-campus are receiving a Carolina Together Care Kit with two reusable face masks, hand sanitizer, a thermometer and additional items. Care Kits are being distributed to Carolina Housing residents at move-in, to Graduate and Professional students through their academic programs and to students in Greek Houses. Undergraduate students can pick-up their care kits at the distribution locations listed on the Carolina Together website. Employees working on campus can pick up their care kit from their department’s CPE coordinator.
Students, if you forget your mask there are distribution locations across campus, shown on the Carolina Together Campus Map, where you can take a single disposable mask. Employees can pick-up a disposable mask from their department’s CPE coordinator.
Each campus building has been carefully planned with one-way entrances and exits and hallways and stairwells have signs designating directional flow. Classrooms are set-up for physical distancing. There are hand sanitizer and sanitary wipes stations in all academic and office buildings; when you enter a classroom or office remember to wipe down your space.
To maximize physical distancing, there are an extra 30 minutes between classes to allow students and instructors to enter and exit buildings. Canopies and seating are being installed across campus, and indoor study spaces are being assigned to provide physically distanced space on campus in-between classes.
If you do get sick or if you come into contact with someone who tests positive or has symptoms, it is important you have the right resources. For students, Campus Health is providing COVID-19 testing and tracing services of all UNC students and post-docs, consistent CDC guidance. For employees, Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) and Employee Occupational Health (UEOHC) recommend that employees (except Healthcare and COVID-19 researchers) utilize their primary care physician (PCP) to request SARS-CoV-2 testing. Employees can notify EHS with the COVID-19 Wellness Self-Check web application.
We have published the UNC-Chapel Hill COVID-19 Dashboard as a source of information for us to remain updated on COVID-19 data related to our campus, local and state communities. The dashboard is updated weekly and pulls data from multiple sources to illustrate and track various metrics which will help inform our decision making related to campus operations and possible off-ramps in consultation with the UNC System and local health officials. Weekly updates allow the University to protect the privacy of student and employee information while enabling us to observe campus trends.
Early today, you received University will be sending an Alert Carolina Emergency Notification with about COVID-19 Resources and Protocols for Fall 2020 semester and I encourage you to review this message. Today’s message was sent COVID-19 early next week as a requirement of the U.S. Department of Education Clery Act, which guides what health and safety information universities share with their campus. Communication has been a priority throughout this summer, and we will continue to provide updates and information to campus during the fall semester.
Thank you for all that you have done to put these important plans in place. None of the regular updates we have made to Carolina Together, our Roadmap for Fall 2020 would have happened without the incredible work and dedication of our entire community. We are facing an unprecedented challenge, and we are rising to meet it by accepting our shared responsibility to educate, to serve, and to conduct research worthy of a world-class university.
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost